Anthony Bottini fell in love with video production when his dad filmed their hometown high school football games.
"I was just starting college around that time, and when I was home I began looking over his shoulder and attempted to glean anything that I could from what he was doing," said Bottini.
That passion grew during his early days as a University of North Dakota student.
"I really cut my teeth by producing small projects for UND as a student right out of my dorm room," said Bottini, a graduate of Sartell, Minn. "I was the president of the UND Aerospace R/C student organization one year and we had many members interested in flying the blimps for sporting events. I thought it may be helpful to create a Blimp-Pilot training video instead of constantly going over the basics with each new member."
As a flight instructor during his senior year, Bottini began making short video tutorials to help teach his students about the basic maneuvers that they would perform during flight lessons. "I wanted to find the best way to illustrate the more complex aspects of some our flight maneuvers that may have been hard to simply describe on a whiteboard," he said.
One of the videos caught the attention of the administration at UND Aerospace Flight Operations. "Before I knew it, they were enlisting my services to produce a long-format video to teach students and instructors the finer points of aircraft systems on one of our training airplanes," said Bottini.
That's how AeroCast— Bottini's new business venture— was born.
With more than 40 video episodes, more than 3 million file downloads and more than 320,000 views on YouTube, Bottini's AeroCast has assisted UND Aerospace in capturing a wider audience through the use of technology.
The purpose of UND AeroCast is twofold: (1) to spread goodwill in the general aviation community while extending the UND Aerospace brand around the globe, and (2) to give UND Aerospace students one of the best resources for highly technical aviation training based on the procedures they must learn to achieve their goals.
The majority of AeroCast episodes are in high definition and UND Aerospace students can watch these flight training lessons on their computers or mobile devices.
Bottini still produces each and every episode for UND AeroCast.
"I do the filming, the editing, the graphics, the voice-over narrations, and I maintain our iTunes page and Youtube page."
Mike Lents, a UND aviation lecturer and instructor, does all of the script writing, and they have a support staff of many other instructors at UND Aerospace Flight Operations who donate their time to oversee script editing for accuracy of content.
Bottini credits a lot of his success to UND.
"In 2002, when the aviation/video-nerd inside me was blossoming into full nerd-hood, UND fostered my ideas by allowing me to take them for a test-run in a relatively safe, resource-rich environment. Through a combination of hard work and the proper external environment, my work flourished, where it just as easily could have faded into the ether. That is most certainly where credit is owed to UND."
Bottini graduated in the spring of 2004 with a bachelor of science in aeronautics. He worked as a flight instructor at UND from the fall of 2003 until fall of 2006. In 2006, he launched his own video productions company, Tonywood Productions, and now lives in Minneapolis where he splits his time flying as a pilot for the airlines, as an entrepreneur and producing projects for UND AeroCast.
Writer, University Relation
University of North Dakota, "Video vanguard" (2012). UND News Features. 204.